NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

An Intensive Exploration of Technology Diffusion

Diego A. Comin, Martí Mestieri

NBER Working Paper No. 16379
Issued in September 2010
NBER Program(s):   DAE   EFG   ITI   PR

We present a tractable model for the analysis of the relationship between economic growth and the intensive and extensive margins of technology adoption. At the aggregate level, our model is isomorphic to a neoclassical growth model. The microeconomic underpinnings of growth come from technology adoption of firms, both at the extensive and the intensive margin. We use a data set of 15 technologies and 166 countries to estimate the intensive and extensive margin of adoption using the structural equations derived from our model. We find that the variability across countries in the intensive margin is higher than in the extensive margin. The cross country variation in intensive margin of adoption accounts for around 40% of the variation in income per capita.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w16379

Published: Technology Diffusion: Measurement, Causes and Consequences (with Diego Comin), Handbook of Economic Growth, vol. 2 .

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